What is a Patient Navigator?

A patient navigator works with people to overcome barriers and understand the healthcare system. They are committed to removing client’s barriers to very good care by identifying critical resources, helping them navigate through health care services and systems, and by promoting client health. 

Barriers to healthcare limit or prevent people from receiving adequate healthcare and medical management. For example, language can be a barrier. When you cannot understand your doctor or they cannot understand you, it can create huge barriers for your health.

Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s office, got into your car and thought…I have no idea what they just said? You wished you could have asked more questions but you felt rushed and didn’t want to waste the doctor’s time. Or after your appointment you thought of a few questions that you would like to discuss with your healthcare team? Who has had a family member or loved one call to update you on their doctor’s appointment and they tell you that they want to run some tests but they can’t remember which ones or what they are for? Or maybe, that the doctor is calling them in some new medicine but they couldn’t understand what they were saying so they don’t know what it is.

With access to your EMR (electronic medical record) you have all of the tools to understand your health care. With the help of a patient navigator and your EMR you can do a deep dive of exactly what is going on. A person with a medical background can read doctor’s notes and test results and, in turn, explain them to you in a way that anyone can understand.

Resources are sources of supply or support that are available to everyone. The healthcare system is full of different resources that people never even know exist! This is where someone with medical experience can come in handy. With some research and exploring, the right navigator can be very helpful, both financially and for your well-being.

I believe that our health comes from our entire body. For example, if you have chronic headaches it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your head. Chances are it is coming from an issue in an entirely different part of the body. With a holistic nursing point of view you can look at your individual problems and narrow down the list of possible sources. Then your navigator can educate you on possible solutions that may not even require new medications or a doctor’s visit.

Having a patient navigator to talk to can help reduce some of your stress about your health and well being. I would love the chance to be that person for you or your loved one! I truly believe that I can help you walk the path to a better quality of life and healthcare.

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Published by Michelle Harrison

Hi! My name is Michelle. I am a single mom with three beautiful children. I have been a registered nurse for over 11 years. I have a background of direct patient care, weight loss education, wellness coaching and patient advocacy. I am passionate about everyone getting the best out of their healthcare, as well as their lives.

One thought on “What is a Patient Navigator?

  1. Patient navigators are absolutely needed, especially with healthcare becoming more complex for patients and their caregivers! As the technology advances, there is an increasing need for human interaction. Going through an overwhelming process from beginning to never-end can be very isolating and hopeless for many people! You’re so kindhearted for wanting to be that person.

    Like

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